Residents of the city of Berlin are responding to the housing crisis with a sweeping plan to socialize housing stock. Berlin is set to hold a referendum banning landlords with more than 3,000 homes and expropriating them into social housing. The referendum aims to address the growing crisis of high living costs in the German capital.
The law will ban landlords with more than 3,000 homes in their portfolio from operating in the city. In a bid to reduce the cost of living, an estimated 200,000 homes would be covered in the expropriation, which would become a kind of public housing.
The city, which is its own state under German law, has a local constitution that empowers people to make binding ballot initiatives and allows a framework for holding referendums.
The initiative must first collect 20,000 signatures to make it onto the ballot. Opinion polls show most voters back the plan.